Discover the latest Apple iPhone 5 rumours, including release date, specs, price and features, for all the latest on Apple's next-gen smartphone
Update: Apple iPhone 5 screen will be 4 inches and will sport a metal back
A shock omission from the 2011 iDevice lineup that saw the iPad 2 land ahead of a newly refreshed iPod Touch and the hugely successful iPhone 4S, the long mooted Apple iPhone 5 release is widely expected to take place later this year.
Long the thing of speculation, having appeared in a number of claimed leaks under a selection of variable guises, Apple iPhone 5 rumours have kicked into overdrive in recent months with reported iPhone 5 specs, features and even the odd leaked picture doing the rounds online.
Almost a year late for its long expected June 2011 unveiling, the Apple iPhone 5 release date has been the thing of mystery for many months with the mythical handset now expected to follow the new launch cycle kicked off by the iPhone 4S and be unveiled in October to capitalise on the lucrative pre-Christmas shopping rush.
Amid the sea of Apple iTV and iPad 3 rumours engulfing the tech world in early 2012, the old-faithful iPhone 5 was probably feeling a little bit unloved. Well, the next generation Apple smartphone is now back on our radar with new indications of when it may land.
Respected Japanese Apple blog Macotakara has said that it has received word from "Asian sources" that Apple will launch the device in September or October 2012 which would fit with last year’s arrival of the iPhone 4S.
"According to Asian reliable source, next iPhone will be released in September or October, and this cycle seems to be kept for years," read a translated portion of the report.
If the article proves to be accurate, it would mean the company is returning to the 12-month launch cycles we saw for the first four versions of the beloved device.
Last year's October iPhone 4S launch was the only time Apple has verged from the summer cycle, making users wait 15 months instead of the usual 12 for a new handset.
While the iPhone 4S was more of an evolutionary upgrade, with a faster processor an improved camera and the addition of the Siri voice control app, the iPhone 5 is likely to bring a more revolutionary approach, perhaps with the addition of a 4G LTE internet and a larger screen size.
Despite the ongoing legal battles between the two companies over repeated patent infringements Samsung looks set to continue its role as a component supplier for Apple’s iDevices with the Korean firm reported to be providing the quad-core A6 chips to feature within both the iPad 3 and iPhone 5.
“Apple has been in talks with Samsung over shipment of its A6 quad-core mobile processor (AP) chips to be used in the next iPhone,” claimed insider sources have reported just days after the launch of the iPhone 4S.
They added: “It appears that Apple clearly has concluded that Samsung remains a critical business partner.”
Continuing the Apple iPhone 5 specs rumours, further reports have suggested Apple is to shave millimetres off the form of its next-generation handset thanks to the introduction of a new streamlined Sony camera sensor.
Whilst handsets and tablets continue to ship with increasingly slim form factors, the lack of cut sized camera sensors has started to slow the possibilities of skinnier devices.
Sony, however, has announced a new back-illuminated CMOS sensor tipped for inclusion within the Apple iPhone 5 that will allow for increasingly thin designs with improved functionality.
"This image sensor layers the pixel section containing formations of back-illuminated structure pixels onto chips containing the circuit section for signal processing, which is in place of supporting substrates for conventional back-illuminated CMOS image sensors," the component's description declared.
"This structure achieves further enhancement in image quality, superior functionalities and a more compact size that will lead to enhanced camera evolution."
Although unlikely, it has been claimed that following a number of unearthed patent filings Apple will incorporate an extra-dimensional 3D camera on its iPhone 4S replacement handset.
“A user may take video of a home while walking through the home and the image sensing device could use the calculated depth and surface detail information to create a three-dimensional model of the home,” one Apple patent detailed. “The depth and surface detail information of multiple photographs or video stills may then be matched to construct a seamless composite three-dimensional model that combines the surface detail and depth from each of the photos or video.”
A repeated talking point of the next-generation Apple handset, a number of reports have suggested growing competition and market pressures will see Apple up the device’s screen size from the current and continually standard 3.5-inch offering to a new plus 4-inch model.
These rumours have been backed up by a selection of industry analysts that have suggested Apple will be forced into the screen size overhaul by the likes of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S3 and recent HTC Android offerings.
Speaking with T3, industry specialist Daniel Ashdown from tech analysis company Juniper Research suggested he believes that Apple is definitely going to opt for a larger screen on its sixth-generation smartphone.
"It will be particularly interesting to see what the size of the display will be given that it has not changed thus far since the iPhone was launched with a 3.5-inch screen," Ashdown said. "Competitors have increased their devices to up to 4.3". We would be surprised if they [Apple] didn't break from tradition this time and increase the size of the next model."
Contrary to these claims further reports have suggested that due to the conformity of the company’s extensive App Store offering Apple will retain its 3.5-inch iPhone display for future handsets.
Rumoured to be retaining its 3.5-inch form factor so as not to disturb the iOS platform's expansive and uniformed app offering Apple looks set to up its display credentials for the iPhone 5 with the current 960 x 640p Retina display resolution to be plumped to a HD 1280 x 720p or 1440 x 800p offering.
Once again throwing the iPhone 5 screen size speculation into confusion, latest reports out of China have suggested the mythical handset will land as a 4.6-inch monster set to topple the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Quoting an “unnamed media source,” the Korean business newspaper Maeil has stated that “Apple has decided on the bigger 4.6-inch display for its next iPhone and started placing orders to its suppliers.”
Apple iPhone 5 Dock Connector
Apple is considering casting aside the 30-pin connector for the iPhone 5 in order to make the device smaller and save space for new features like a 4G LTE radio, according to reports.
The article from iMore.com has claimed the Cupertino based company is looking beyond the connector, which has been a staple of iDevices since the very first iPod launched in 2001, and will use any means necessary to save vital millimetres within the device.
The report stated Apple could replace the bespoke charging solution with a "micro dock," but unfortunately it won't be the industry-standard microUSB solution, just a smaller iteration of its current form factor.
iMore points-out that Apple has previous in this area, saying: "Apple switched from the very common mini SIM card to the then very uncommon micro SIM card for the original iPad. They took the antenna out of the core package and put it around the edge in the iPhone 4.
They had 10 hours of battery life they wanted to hit. They had a Retina display and its backlight. They had an HSPA radio. They had 802.11n Wi-Fi. They had a bigger camera sensor. They had a lot of power-hungry components, and they needed space to hold them and power them, so they switched to a smaller SIM and kicked the antenna to the outside."
Changing the classic dock connector would be the end of an era and could cause problems for owners of expensive speaker docks for iPhones, iPads and iPhones. However, with the advent of AirPlay and iCloud, the need to connect your iPhone for anything other than charging has become less necessary.
Looking to bring an end to the watery based deaths of high-end handsets, new reports have suggested that both the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S3 and the long mooted Apple iPhone 5 will land boasting Liquipel moisture repelling technology.
Showcased at CES 2012, Liquipel is currently a post-production treatment that can be given to handsets ensuring that when caught in heavy rain or taking an unwanted trip into a puddle or toilet bowl devices remain unscathed and no longer the victim of a watery based demise.
Tipped to add further unique selling points to the next-generation of market dominating smartphones, new reports have suggested that like the waterproofing nano tech currently used on the recently revised Motorola RAZR, the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S3 and Apple iPhone 5 will combat costly insurance claims with their own water repellent coating.
Apple iPhone 5 and Steve Jobs
Adding further gravitas to the allure of the illusive iPhone 5, an analyst at Rodman & Renshaw came forward recently and revealed that apparently the Apple iPhone 5 was the last project that Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs was involved on from drawing board to finished product.
If these reports are true then that would mean that not only is the iPhone 5 very much in existence and simply in the fine-tuning and final pre-production stages of its lifecycle, but that it will also be the last Apple product to have been given the golden touch by the late tech visionary.
If confirmed by Apple as one of the last device’s worked on by Jobs, it is expected the iPhone 5 will become an instant cult classic with Apple fans adopting the handset almost as a mark of respect to the man who introduced the iMac, iPod and iPad.
Having previously dropped the standard SIM option for the widely untested Micro SIM offering found within the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S Apple looks set to change its SIM options once again with new reports suggest that the predicted handset will include an integrated SIM card allowing Apple to assign networks to individual handsets at customer’s request.
The technology reportedly being worked on by the Cupertino team ahead of the next addition to its iPhone range is believed to come in the form of an integrated chip which will carry subscriber identification information and ultimately see the end of the little plastic cards currently issued directly from network service providers.
If included in the iPhone 5 handset, the integrated SIM device would make purchasing a pocket blower direct from Apple’s online or highstreet stores an easier process for consumers.
With users able to pick a network provider at the point of sale, Apple could simply program the new device to that company’s service eliminating the need for shoppers to wait for networks to activate the handset or for the arrival of the corresponding SIM.
Whilst this mooted integration would provide consumers with a simpler shopping experience and more control over their devices, it would essentially eliminate the network’s highstreet stores from the shopping chain of what will no doubt be one of the most popular handsets on the market.
Having retained largely the same form factor for the past two models as the iPhone 4S replicated the aesthetic of the iPhone 4, the upcoming iPhone 5 is seemingly set to land with an all new shell to give it a completely fresh visual.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that its 'in-the-know' contact believes the iPhone 5 will feature a “different form factor”, adopting a brand new design following the antennagate issues that resulted in signal issues and dropped calls.
Since then Engadget has spoken to multiple sources who claim that a complete redesign of the handset body is on the cards and that the device is already being tested by staff at Apple HQ.
Also on the cards for the iPhone 5 is an all-metal back, similar to that found on the original iPhone, reportedly in a bid to avoid the embarrassing antenna issues experienced on the iPhone 4.
The glass posterior of the iPhone 4 was also prone to unsightly cracks if treated roughly, and was rumoured to be the cause of the delay of the white model - a headache all round for Apple.
An Apple patent also points to the iPhone using smaller conductive nodes beneath the screen, allowing for the overall device to be slimmer. Tipped to also feature for the iPad 2, the new method could also use less power, giving you longer battery life from each charge of your iPhone 5.
What is widely expected, is that the iPhone 5 will be “thinner and lighter” than previous models whilst sporting a selection of new innards that is to include a new processor and improved camera optics.
Building on these redesign reports new claims have suggested Apple will opt for a MacBook Air esque unibody design for its next-gen handset with Brian J. White of Topeka Capital Markets telling investors that the new iPhone 5 will land in a radical new guise.
"In our view, this will be the most significant iPhone upgrade with a four-inch screen and a new, sleek look that we believe will require a Unibody case," he said. "This new, sleek look will be the most important reason that consumers decide to upgrade."
The 16GB iPhone 4S lines up in retailers with a hefty £499 price tag. Prices continue up all the way to £699 for the 64GB edition.
Ahead of the iPhone 4S successor’s announcement, it is believed that the sixth-gen model will simply replace the iPhone 4s in terms of price points and range of models with any 128GB storage option likely to hit the £799 price mark.
Apple iPhone 5 Name
In the wake of the new iPad's unveiling, a flurry of reports have suggested that Apple is to cease the numbered naming convention of its pocket blowers and move the market leading iPhone range in line with its Mac offerings which see multiple product overhauls occur whilst maintaining the same base name.
“About two weeks ago we got a tip from a reliable source that Apple was going to call the iPhone 5 the new “iPhone,” a recent report from Apple blog 9to5Mac declared.
It added: “That seemed a little nuts at the time but what a difference a Keynote makes. Apple chopped the suffix off if the iPad as part of a branding makeover that will likely expand. Just like iMac is not called iMac 1,2,3 it looks like Apple won’t be doing the numbering on iOS devices (though it never did with the iPod touch).”